“Laugh and the world laughs with you, snore and you sleep alone.”
-- Anthony Burgess
More often that not, I snore. It is a curse - for my EC. I wake up with a little bit of a sore throat at worst, but sometimes she has to resort to earplugs. Thankfully, she is incredibly patient with me, and is still willing to let me stay in the bed.
I appreciate her even more this morning, after reading that an inmate at the Utah State Hospital recently strangled his roommate because he couldn’t sleep due to the roommate’s snoring. (article here)
Yes, it is tragic. Yet, deep down inside a teeny-tiny part of me understands. No, I’m not the murdering type, although it has crossed my mind at Scout camps as I dragged my sleeping bag into the woods to escape the snoring battles. To help you understand, I need to take you back ten, twenty, no, thirty years, when I was at the Missionary Training Center in Provo, UT. (MTC)
My companion was one of the nicest guys you would ever want to meet. He was kind, funny, and spiritual. But he snored like a stinkin’ freight train. He could shake the walls - at 19 years-old. I’ll call him “Elder Dean”.
At night, I would race to my bed and try and fall asleep before Elder Dean did. Sleep-racing is rarely productive, and more often than not, he would fall asleep instantly, (because he didn’t know we were racing) leaving me on the top bunk listening to the cacophony below.
The MTC is arduous even when rested. After several weeks of serious sleep deprivation I was really getting fatigued and cranky. Or as I would say in perfect Spanish: Estoy muy cansado.
One night, out of sheer desperation, I stumbled upon a solution. Peering over the edge of the top bunk, I could see my companion sawing away, facing the edge of the bed. I took my pillow, swung it down, gently hitting him in the face. He stirred, rolled over, and, for a few glorious minutes, stopped snoring. I quickly fell asleep, and awoke refreshed and pleased with my new discovery.
It became part of my nightly ritual: Shower, read scriptures, pray, hit Elder Dean in the face, go to sleep. For the next month it worked perfectly.
Then one night, Elder Dean was really raising the roof, and I did the usual. Whap. Right in the face. He stirred and stopped snoring. Phew! But before I could get to sleep, a voice came up from the bottom bunk. Elder Dean gently said to me, “Elder, I really wish you would stop hitting me in the face with your pillow.”
I’m just glad he didn’t strangle me.